So the month of July in Paris was a-wash with warmpth and sunlight, but sadly I didn’t get to go out and enjoy it that much since I was dealing with this issue. And as soon as that cast came off, the weather went sour. August has been a total disappointment weather-wise. But the very occasional day of cooperative weather, we managed to get out and take full advantage. We were able to discover (or at least try to) a few out-of-the-way green spots in the city that are practically secret. Well, almost…
We headed to the Musée de la Vie Romantique, which has free entry for its permanent collection. A lovely house full of George Sand’s paraphernalia, and things like a sculpture of Chopin’s hands. But before skimming through the museum, I suggest grabbing a chance to enjoy the tea garden. Read more →
FIVE WEEKS. Five long weeks with a resin made « ball and chain » stretching from the start of my toes to just below my knee. Misery, you would think. And yes while it was cumbersome, and the novelty got old really fast, I like to look on the bright side and have decided to reflect on the perks of wearing a cast in Paris. Call it a version of project optimism…
- People give up their seat on the bus for you. If you are a commuter in Paris, (or in any large metropolis for that matter, you know how coveted seats are. Well a cast guarantees you that someone will get off their derrière and let you pose yours. #WIN!
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My lovely readers, I am fresh out of inspiration for posts these days. I am blaming it on the 5 weeks, FIVE WEEKS! of having my foot in a cast and being mostly limited in what I can do and where I can go (I did make a couple of exceptions though, at Le Meurice and Gerard Mulot). So being low on inspiring subject matter (most of my days are spent at home in my apartment with an occasional break at the café down below), I thought I would toss up a Pretty Paris Pictures post from the 14th of July where we say pretty cozy with a snazzy view on the rooftop of the Novotel Vaugirard hotel where Chéri and I were invited to watch the festivities. (PS : they do have a restaurant with a balcony where you can dine with a view even if you are not staying at the the hotel).
After my pastry splurge at Le Meurice, I was having a bout of craving for more cream! Now that I can magically eat dairy again, I have been going slightly overboard
on occasion often. My friend Holly, from the expat group I am a member of, who has been in Paris for just a short year suggested a place to me that SHE discovered and was très enthusiastic to show to me (so I could share it with all of you!). And what a find it is. If you live in the 6th arrondissement in the Luxumbourg gardens/Odéan quarters, you surely have heard of the pastry shop Gerard Mulot. They are a family fun business, that has been helping Parisians indulge in pastries, macarons and other incredible delights for years… Since 1975to be exact.
Gerard Mulot is a dedicated and creative artisan pastry chef who excells in quality and high end flavor packed delights. In the 1980′s he added a chocolate line to his shelves, and even opened a smaller boutique in the Butte aux Cailles neighborhood. His newest endeavor is a tea room. Just steps away from the pastry shop on rue de Seine, is the Salon de thé L’Amaryllis where you can have lunch, or tea and pastries from 11am to 6:30pm. Read more →
Article by Charles Gillman
Images provided by Oscar Carvallo
Summer was here, and didn’t this Brit know it! Anything generally above ten degrees celsius sends me into a broad-spectrum decline of complaining how unbearably sweltering it is and re-sighting dramatically about how I may not make it to the fall, by falling face first on to a thirty degree pavement. I was already looking forward to the fall, it’s my much-loved time of year as the temperatures drop, the lights around Paris come on earlier and there are abundances of leaves on the ground, Just in case I drop face first.
So, what better way to get in the mood than to go to an haute couture show by Oscar Carvallo with his new collections for fall/winter 2014. Recently I’d become single again, and getting out and about mingling with some fashionistas was just what the heartbreak doctor had ordered. He’d also ordered that I adopt a cat called Willow and that I started reading a book called ‘Good Husband Material’… Yes, I have to hide the front cover when I sit on the metro, however the only first-rate husband material that I was managing to unearth in the so called ‘city of love’ was 100g of chocolate every night and a Starbucks by the river everyday. They were dependable, I knew what I was getting, and I kind of knew that they weren’t good for me. Sounds like the ideal husband, no?
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Article by Frank Cierpial
Images provided by Defined Moment
After going through a hard time in life, sometimes you need to take a few steps back, rediscover who you are, and integrate the old you with the new you. That is exactly what I did after coming back to Paris after a great loss in my life and spent some time with my greatest loves : my friends, crêpes, night walks along the cobblestone streets of le Marais and fashion! It is my favorite time of the year in Paris : Haute Couture Fashion Week (woooo!!!!!! confetti!). Going to a fashion show/presentation in my opinion is the most exciting thing in the world. It can be compared to opening Christmas presents, you never know what you’re going to find inside, and this show was almost like a Christmas present to me. Christmas in July!
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Last September, yes I know, nearly a year ago (I’m a bad blogger) in 2013, I was invited to the hotel opening for the new Sofitel Arc de Triomphe in the 8th district of Paris. And this past June I went to a press presentation of the newly renovated Mercure Montmartre in the 18th.
I thought it would be interesting to compare the two hotel openings and how they went about promoting their hotel.
What’s funny about the Sofitel opening is, I figured it wouldn’t be a big deal, just a visit of some rooms and maybe a glass of champagne. Boy was I wrong! I arrived to a swinging party stuffed full of Paris socialites and celebrities. About 800 people were invited to this party. Press people and fashion people. It was aparantly THE event to be at in September 2013.
So when I headed over to the Mercure Montmartre opening in June 2014, I was expecting a party. There was no party. It was a press presentation, and a very organized one at that! We were assigned a group with a few « guides » who brought us through a tour of the hotel, explaining the services and ideas behind the new design and decoration. I have to say, it was rather tedious, especially in the beginning, and we were not offered any refreshment of any sort before or during the tour. Read more →
I was so happy to be invited by Le Meurice for a tea time tasting of their pastries, which are renowned, and rightly so given the dedication to French excellence in pastry arts and cuisine that is promoted by this Dorchester Collection hotel.
But an article about tea time at Le Meurice will no doubt spark a conversation about the recent media frenzy over the boycott against hotels owned by the sultan of Brunei, a small sovereign nation that is pocketed on a Malaysian coastline. Anna Wintour and all the celebrities have a very valid point in boycotting hotels owned by this sultan who is integrating sharia law into his country’s customs. I IN NO WAY SUPPORT SHARIA LAW IN ANY WAY. These laws are intrinsically homophobic, misogynist and inhumane. I think radical leaders like Hassanal Bolkiah should be given a taste of their very own oppression and discrimination. I support Anna Wintour and the fashion industry boycotting the Dorchester Collection hotels. But… I also support the dedicated and open minded professionals that work in and for these hotels. These people have nothing to do with the garish laws implemented in Brunei, nor its sultan’s opinions or religious inclination. These people who work in hotels such as Le Meurice, uphold the standards of luxury and tolerance of people from all walks of life. The wonderful people who work for Le Meurice support French standards of business, liberté, égalité, fraternité. I find it sad that these people are the ones being in essence hurt by this sultan’s decisions, and it isn’t fair for them at all. They do an amazing job of running a hotel with high French standards. I do hope the public opinion can put enough pressure on the sultan for him to retract his decision for sharia law without putting in danger the jobs of those who work in his hotels.
Now… can we talk about pastries!?! Read more →
Article by Frank Cierpial
I have always been attracted to brands that are off the beaten path or not hindered in taking chances. Brands such as Jean Paul Gaultier, Saint Laurent Paris, and Eymeric Francois are just a few examples, brands like this interest me, they inspire me, and they shine in creativity. So, when I heard that there was a new Men’s Wear boutique opening in Le Marais in one of its chicest areas, you know there was no keeping me away, I was there. Read more →